Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chapter 11 - “A Man For A Ghost”


by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

Chapter 11 - “A Man For A Ghost”

Margaret Raymond cleared the dinner plates from the table. With each plate she would glance at the journals and papers spread across the tabletop. They revealed so much about her brother and yet made him all the more a mystery.

“I still hate the fact we had to lie to Daddy,” she said.

“We have no choice. At least for now,” her husband Donald answered from the other room. “If it got out that Adrian was the Masked Ghost, your brother would be branded a criminal. The papers would read that he had died in the midst of committing a crime.”

“But that’s not true,” she protested.

“Since when did that stop the presses from printing a scandalous headline? Not only would it destroy his memory, it would ruin your… our entire family. Would your father be able to handle that? What about your mother?”

“Oh, dear,” Margaret whispered, she hadn’t thought of that. Her mother had always been so very proud of her son the journalist, but also had a weak heart. A shock like this might very well kill her.

After leaving the street scene out front Adrian’s apartment, they had driven Margaret’s friend Vivian home. The girl was quite shaken up by discovering the dead body, but now was to the point of being giddy about the whole thing as if it was an adventure and quite exciting. Margaret worried about what the girl’s dreams would be like tonight.

Once home, Margaret prepared dinner while Donald spread out the journals and paperwork they had been able to get out of Adrian’s basement hideaway the night before. He laid things out by dates and locations.

As they ate he would read from different journals, while his wife kept her brother’s diary close at hand. It was all she had of him now, and also held the heart of what may have started this whole terrible mess.

“According to this,” Donald put a finger down on a page of one of the journals and took a sip of his coffee, “Adrian, or rather The Masked Ghost, had intended to investigate the business offices of Showller Investments near Broadway and 54th.”

“That’s only blocks from here,” Margaret shouted, realizing what that meant.

“May have been the last stop he intended to make before visiting us for dinner, and was shot either at that location or nearby. He was just close enough to make it here before he died.”

Margaret had her hands up to her face and was shaking as she remember holding her brother as the last breathe of life left him.

Donald wrote the address down, and made notes of people who Adrain had connected to the location. If his brother-in-law was right, the Masked Ghost was close to tying this financial firm to the import/export company that owned the truck involved in Sheila’s death. He got up from the table and wondered what he was going to do with the information.

When he gave his wife a kiss and headed into the bedroom Margaret knew a decision had been made and things were about to happen. To keep her mind focused she began to clear the table, most of her own meal left uneaten.

“What about that Police Detective Monroe?” She asked after her husband had been silent for several minutes and had remained in the bedroom. “He acted like he knew the truth.”

“He knew something,” Donald responded, “Maybe the Masked Ghost had helped him at some point.”

“That would be good,” she said with hope.

“Or he’s got a clue or an idea that Adrian is the Masked Ghost and was trying to get us to confirm it. Which I fear our expressions may have. It was obvious to him that the body had been moved.”

“But why would he…?

“I don’t know. Perhaps he had been searching for the Masked Ghost and his investigation lead to Adrian. It was obvious from talking with Detective Dobbs the other night that the police don’t like vigilantes. Maybe the cops had set a trap to snare the Masked Ghost. I don’t know. This is all speculation on my part, but maybe Monroe had discovered the truth and shot Adrian.”

“Oh, God!” Margaret sobbed.

Hearing his wife’s tears Donald tried to reassure her, “I’m not saying that’s what happened. I don’t know what happened, and I don’t know what this police officer thinks he knows. Maybe Cabbie will have some answers, but he only shows up when he wants to, strange little fellow. But for now we can’t trust the police, any of them.”

“But… But Detective Monroe acted as if Adrian was still alive.”

“No, not Adrian. He acted as if the Masked Ghost is still alive.”

Margaret turned at the approaching sound of her husband’s voice.

“So for now,” he said, “we must keep the Masked Ghost alive.”

Margaret gasped, as emerging from their bedroom was a very much alive MASKED GHOST.